Sitting in the metro cities, not many of realise the problems faced by those in the far corners of the country. Indian media has long been accused of being metro-centric in its reporting, especially by those living in the northeastern part of India. While front pages and city pages give a fair amount of coverage to the floods in Chennai or Mumbai, but take the case of Assam – the state has been plagued by floods each year, with very little having been reported about them. This is said to have been the worst year ever.
According to the state authorities over 11 lakh people were affected in 21 districts till this week and 34 people had lost their lives (read story here) But for those from Assam, the frustration towards the media and the lack of its coverage is high. Take, for instance, this 2015 post by Bandita Barman, a girl from Assam. Last year, Barman had shared a photo of herself on Facebook holding a placard with a message for media – message that when seen a year later seems to have struck a chord with many, as it has just gone viral.
The message on the card read: “Mumbai: Rainfall, full media coverage. Assam: Floods every year, death of hundreds of people; nobody cares. And we live in a society where we have at least 30 24*7 news channels who can show your horoscopes but not the HORROR OF ASSAM.”
With over 7,000 shares and 5,000 likes – and the numbers are growing – it’s the comments that draw one’s attention. From just five comments from when it was first posted, the anger and disappointment is now spread across nearly 100 comments.
Reportedly, Kaziranga National Park (KNP) is 80 per cent under water and has claimed the lives of 218 animals. People from more than 150 villages had to be evacuated and over 3,000 villages have been affected. Over 500 relief centres and camps have been set up to help the people in distress. As these alarming numbers hit our screens, as one commenter asked: Whose fault is it? But, one supposes, the more pertinent question would be: What do we, the people as well as the government, do to make the situation better and help those in need.